Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
The Court of Appeal sitting in Akure, Ondo State, has declared that the source of the supplementary record of Appeal presented by the lawmaker representing Obokun constituency, Adeyemi Adewumi, at the hearing of the case challenging his election must be unveiled.
This followed the suspected fraud discovered in the said record, purportedly certified by the registrar of the election tribunal in Osogbo and transmitted with a sworn affidavit by Adewumi, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmaker.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate at the election, Olatunbosun Oyintiloye, had challenged the election on the ground that it was fraught with irregularities.
The tribunal, presided over by Justice Ita Enyom, had nullified the election of Adewumi, holding that the petitioner had established over-voting in the result of the election, particularly in four wards of the constituency.
The PDP candidate then filed an appeal against the judgment of the lower tribunal.
At the hearing of the appeal, counsel to the APC candidate, Yinka Okedara, called the attention of the court to the record tagged ‘Suplementary record of appeal’, saying the document contained false information.
Angered, the panel Chairman said: “This is strange and must be looked into by the judiciary. As if we are in a jungle. The reality is that I was the supervisor of that tribunal and they were all present when I visited. Where then did this document come from.
The appellant’s counsel apologised and offered to withdraw the record already filed before the court.
APC counsel informed the court that he had spent so much in getting the correct record and affidavit from the lower tribunal chairman, asking for a cost of N500,000 to cater for the expenses incurred.
But Biriomoni offered to pay a cost of N20,000 to cater for the expenses of the respondents.
The panel chairman then struck out the purported ‘suplementary record’ and the subsequent motion filed to challenge it and awarded a cost of N400,000 against the appellant.